When it come to the real estate market, the first quarter of the year is almost always the best for sellers. And like most first quarters we've seen since the recession, this last one was a strong one. Despite rising interest rates and post-election wariness, sale prices increased.
Below is a preview of how Q1 2017 compared to Q1 from 2016 and 2015 (both record-breaking years).
So why is the first quarter one of the best times to sell your house? During the holidays people are focused on traveling and spending time with their families, and there just isn’t much on the market. Then, all of a sudden, it’s a new year. People are back to work, they have certain goals in mind, and they may have an idea of what their taxes are going to look like. At the same time, many sellers prepping their house to put on the market in May or June. So you have low inventory and high competition.
In my ten years of selling real estate, I’ve written and received the most offers for properties in February and March. Many agents I’ve worked with say the same thing. If I was selling my house and had the flexibility to choose when to put it in on the market, I would aim for February or March.
If you’re thinking of selling your house this year, don’t feel like you missed the boat though! The good news is that coming off of the first quarter comparable sale prices are likely high, which means you may list your house at a higher asking price. In addition, many houses show better in the spring — when the sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and natural light is streaming in through the windows. And if you’re a buyer, there does tend to be more inventory which can help spread out the competition.
Stay tuned! I'm going to post a more comprehensive report and analysis next month once more of the sales that took place in Q1 have closed. And if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home, please get in touch. I’d be happy to give you a free consultation. You can reach me at (650) 704-8883 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cliff Whearley has been a resident of Redwood City for 23 years and was named Realtor of the Year 2016 at Dwell Realtors, Inc. If you have any real estate questions, he would love to help!